`There is an exit through a summer-house at the far end.'
`Had Sir Charles reached this?'
`No; he lay about fifty yards from it.'
`Now, tell me, Dr. Mortimer - and this is important - the
marks which you saw were on the path and not on the grass? '
`No marks could show on the grass.'
`Were they on the same side of the path as the moor-gate?'
`Yes; they were on the edge of the path on the same side as the moor-gate.'
`You interest me exceedingly. Another point. Was the wicket-gate closed?'
`Closed and padlocked.'
`How high was it?'
`About four feet high.'
`Then anyone could have got over it?'
`And what marks did you see by the wicket-gate?'
`None in particular.'
`Good heaven! Did no one examine?'
`Yes, I examined, myself.'
`And found nothing?'
`It was all very confused. Sir Charles had evidently stood there for five or ten minutes.'
`How do you know that?'
`Because the ash had twice dropped from his cigar.'
`Excellent! This is a colleague, Watson, after our own heart. But the marks?'
`He had left his own marks all over that small patch of gravel. I could discern no others.'
Sherlock Holmes struck his hand against his knee with an impatient gesture.
`If I had only been there!' he cried. `It is evidently a case of extraordinary interest, and one which presented immense opportunities to the scientific expert. That gravel page upon which I might have read so much has been long ere this smudged by the rain and defaced by the clogs of curious peasants. Oh, Dr. Mortimer, Dr. Mortimer, to think that you should not have called me in! You have indeed much to answer for.'
`I could not call you in, Mr. Holmes, without disclosing these facts to the world, and I have already given my reasons for not wishing to do so. Besides, besides - '
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